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  1. #1
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    Default Making a Medical Malpractice Claim for Nerve Damage After a Blood Draw

    My question involves malpractice in the state of: Indiana

    I was in the hospital getting a few tests done a little over a month ago. The nurse that did the second blood draw was very nice, however as soon as she inserted the needle into my right arm I felt a severe pain going from my shoulder down to my fingertips. She removed the needle because something was clearly wrong. Then she used my other arm and everything went smoothly. About an hour after that I noticed that my right bicep, forearm, and fingers were numb. (for some reason the top of my forearm is fine) I wrote this off as a standard side effect for about a week after the blood draw. However it's been over a month now and it still hasn't improved. As I said it's completely numb, which is extremely annoying anytime I have to write something down (as i'm right handed). Or when I pick something up and instantly drop it because my fingers didn't close. In fact, just typing this post has been a bit of an ordeal because i'm usually a great typist, now I have to hunt and peck around with my left hand only.

    Besides the numbness in my right arm I've also noticed a throbbing pain in the middle of my forearm. It's not always there but when it is it really hurts. I'd describe it as a burning pain that feels deep.

    3 weeks after the blood draw I went to my family doctor and asked him if there was anything he could do or if this would get better soon. All he did was give me a general script for an antibiotic and told me it would feel better after taking the pills for a week. It's been 2 weeks after I finished the week long script and it's still just as numb as before and I feel that burning pain for at least 3 hours every day now. I'm worried that this isn't going to get better, in fact it's gotten worse. Is there something my doctor just missed? Some other treatment? Or is the hospital I had the blood drawn at liable for malpractice over this issue?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Nerve Damage After a Blood Draw, Malpractice

    I have no idea why your doctor thought that antibiotics are appropriate. Anyhow, your chances of collecting anything on this one are slim.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Nerve Damage After a Blood Draw, Malpractice

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    I have no idea why your doctor thought that antibiotics are appropriate. Anyhow, your chances of collecting anything on this one are slim.
    I agree. This isn't something that could have happened out of negligence.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Making a Medical Malpractice Claim for Nerve Damage After a Blood Draw

    Quote Quoting timbraden33
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    an hour after that I noticed that my right bicep, forearm, and fingers were numb. (for some reason the top of my forearm is fine) I wrote this off as a standard side effect for about a week after the blood draw. However it's been over a month now and it still hasn't improved. As I said it's completely numb, which is extremely annoying anytime I have to write something down (as i'm right handed). Or when I pick something up and instantly drop it because my fingers didn't close.
    Antibiotics aren't going to help with a neurological problem. You should consult a neurologist.

    It actually is possible to cause injury to the median nerve during a blood draw. If that happened to you, you do have a potential medical negligence claim.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Making a Medical Malpractice Claim for Nerve Damage After a Blood Draw

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    Antibiotics aren't going to help with a neurological problem. You should consult a neurologist.

    It actually is possible to cause injury to the median nerve during a blood draw. If that happened to you, you do have a potential medical negligence claim.
    I'm not 100% sure why my family doctor thought antibiotics would help. He just mentioned something about swelling putting pressure on the nerve, although there was and still is no swelling. I did ask him before I left if this could be due to negligence, and he mentioned that it's very possible. The nurse I had was young (not judging all young nurses) and might not have done all that many blood draws?

    My doctor also mentioned that if my arm wasn't better by after the antibiotics that the nerve damage would likely be permanent.

    The way I see this is I got a regular test done, nerve got hit in the process. Now it seems that i'm stuck with my dominant arm being completely numb and pain for a good portion of my day. Imagine not being able to type properly (when your an IT major in school...) Not being able to pick things up with your right hand without risking dropping it because you can't feel if your fingers are grasping anything. And what worries me the most, what if I hurt my arm and I don't notice it because I can't feel anything that happens to it... All of this from a basic blood draw, that I could probably do myself better then the nurse did. I can't remember the last time (or if it's ever happened) that a nurse explained the "risks" of having my blood drawn. So given that this possibility wasn't mentioned and I had no idea it could happen and leave permanent damage, how could this not be considered negligent?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Making a Medical Malpractice Claim for Nerve Damage After a Blood Draw

    Again, if the nurse caused damage to your median nerve, you have a potential medical negligence claim. Get a formal diagnosis and proper care from a neurologist, and consult a medical malpractice lawyer.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Making a Medical Malpractice Claim for Nerve Damage After a Blood Draw

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    Again, if the nurse caused damage to your median nerve, you have a potential medical negligence claim. Get a formal diagnosis and proper care from a neurologist, and consult a medical malpractice lawyer.
    Ok i'll give my family doctor a call again and have him refer me to a neurologist. Is there any particular information I should get before I talk to a malpractice lawyer? Maybe call the hospital and try and get the nurses name, as it's been over a month and I can't remember names to save my life anyways?

    Also I've been doing a little more reading about this online. Some people say that this sort of nerve damage can take 6-8 months to heal. How would that effect a potential lawsuit as I assume it's impossible to know if it will heal?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Making a Medical Malpractice Claim for Nerve Damage After a Blood Draw

    Quote Quoting timbraden33
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    Ok i'll give my family doctor a call again and have him refer me to a neurologist. Is there any particular information I should get before I talk to a malpractice lawyer? Maybe call the hospital and try and get the nurses name, as it's been over a month and I can't remember names to save my life anyways?

    Also I've been doing a little more reading about this online. Some people say that this sort of nerve damage can take 6-8 months to heal. How would that effect a potential lawsuit as I assume it's impossible to know if it will heal?
    The statute of limitations is going to be longer than that, so you have time to wait 6-8 months to see if it gets better.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Making a Medical Malpractice Claim for Nerve Damage After a Blood Draw

    Quote Quoting timbraden33
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    Is there any particular information I should get before I talk to a malpractice lawyer?
    A proper formal diagnosis to start.

    Quote Quoting timbraden33
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    Also I've been doing a little more reading about this online. Some people say that this sort of nerve damage can take 6-8 months to heal. How would that effect a potential lawsuit as I assume it's impossible to know if it will heal?
    If it heals, that will impact any potential value in your case. You will know if it is going to heal cause it will take 6-8 months to get the ball rolling on the med mal case.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Making a Medical Malpractice Claim for Nerve Damage After a Blood Draw

    Quote Quoting timbraden33
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    Some people say that this sort of nerve damage can take 6-8 months to heal. How would that effect a potential lawsuit as I assume it's impossible to know if it will heal?
    The only "some person" you need to be listening to about your diagnosis and prognosis is the neurologist who you consult.

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